Connecticut Appeals Attorney
Did The Court Rule Against You?
Fight Back And File An Appeal.
If you’ve already taken your case to a trial court or administrative agency and believe the final decision made was legally wrong, you may have a right to appeal. Now is not the time to give up. Your fight is not over — it’s just beginning!
Through the appeals process, you can ask a higher court, known as an “appellate” court to review and reverse the ruling made in the lower court.
This could include:
- overturning a criminal conviction
- getting a money judgment against you dismissed
- recovering benefits after your claim was denied
In order to win on appeal in Connecticut, it must be proven that a legal or factual error was made in trial court.
This is not an easy task and requires the skill of a seasoned attorney who specializes in appellate law and is intimately familiar with the appellate court system in the state.
Effective Appellate Advocacy
Appellate Attorney, J. Christopher Llinas has spent nearly 20 years helping clients pursue and defend appeals in criminal, civil, and administrative cases as well as petition writs of certiorari in the state’s appellate courts, including
- the Connecticut Supreme Court (the state’s highest court of appeals);
- the Connecticut Appellate Court (the state’s intermediate court of appeals); and
- in certain instances, the Connecticut Superior Court.
In an appeal, these courts review the decisions and actions of the trial court or administrative agency, and decide whether they properly found the facts and followed the law and legal precedent in coming to its decision.
Attorney Llinas fully understands the nuances and varying rules of each of the and is ready to apply his knowledge and experience towards building you a winning case.
His approach to appeals involves meticulously analyzing the trial transcript and record, conducting extensive legal research, and crafting compelling briefs and oral arguments that persuades judges to rule in your favor.
If you believe the decision reached in your case was unjust, call 860-530-1781 J. Christopher Llinas, Attorney at Law for a free, no obligation consultation.
And don’t delay, because in most cases in Connecticut, you only have 20 days from the date of the final judgment to file an Appeal, so give us a call today!
Attorney Llinas will carefully evaluate your case to determine if there are grounds to appeal or petition writs of certiorari.
What Is The Difference Between Trials And Appeals?
If you choose to pursue an appeal, it’s important to understand how the appeals process will differ from what you experienced at trial.
During your trial, arguments were made on your behalf in an attempt to persuade the judge or jury — also referred to as the “fact finder” — to render a verdict in your favor.
Physical evidence was presented, witnesses were called for testimony, and various exhibits were submitted. The fact finder weighed the evidence, and made a judgment based on the facts, the law, and the legal precedent.
In an appellate court, the facts of your case cannot be re-argued, nor can new evidence be submitted or new testimony be heard. Rather, you have to stick to whatever is “on the record” from the trial court.
The appellate court is only interested in determining:
- if a legal or factual error was made in the lower court; and
- whether or not that error impacted the outcome of your case.
In other words, was there sufficient evidence to support the factual findings in the trial court, and was the law applied correctly and fairly?
Preparing A Strong Appellate Brief
As your appellate attorney, Attorney Llinas’s job will be to write a comprehensive appellate brief that follows the strict Rules of Court and outlines the reasons why the trial court’s judgment is wrong.
He will carefully analyze the existing trial transcript and conduct extensive research to frame the strongest and most compelling argument possible.
Errors he may cite in a brief could include:
- incorrect ruling on admissibility of evidence
- incorrect applications of law
- legal errors made by judge or prosecution
- insufficient evidence to uphold conviction or judgment
- improper jury instructions
The appellate brief is then submitted to a panel of judges for review. After the submission, there will be an opportunity to present an oral argument to the panel.
At this juncture, Attorney Llinas will attempt to weave the facts and law in a manner that that best supports why the lower court or administrative agency erred in its decision. Months after the oral argument, the court will issue a written opinion on your case.
Understanding Connecticut’s Court Process
The Connecticut court system has three levels: one trial court and two appellate courts.
Attorney Llinas can provide assistance with:
- Appeals from the Superior Court to the Appellate Court
- Appeals from the Appellate Court to the Supreme Court
- Appeals from administrative agencies to the Superior Court
- Appeals that, in rare instances, go directly to the Supreme Court
When the courts hear an appeal, they will either:
- reverse the initial judgment
- remand the case for a new trial
- modify the judgment in light of the applicable law, or
- affirm the prior judgment
The Superior Court is Connecticut’s trial court of general jurisdiction, and it is broken down into two parts – Part A and Part B. Part A courts are called Judicial District (“JD”) Courts, and Part B courts are also known as General Area (“GA”) Courts. There are 15 JD Court across the state, and 23 GA Courts, all of which service given geographic areas within each JD.
The GA courts handle:
- criminal arraignments
- all motor vehicle violations that require a court appearance
The JD Courts handle:
- civil cases
- administrative appeals
- family matters
- serious criminal offenses
The Appellate Court is Connecticut’s intermediate court, and is located in Hartford.
The Court will consider and review:
- other actions of the Superior Court
and decide whether the court’s decision should be affirmed, reversed, remanded, or modified.
If you lose your appeal with the Appellate Court, you can file a petition for certification with the Supreme Court to request a judicial review.
If the Supreme Court feels there is an issue in your case that needs to be given further consideration or analysis, it will grant your petition for certification, and agree to hear the case.
The Supreme Court is the highest tribunal in Connecticut. The Court will sometimes review cases from the Appellate Court and, in rare instances, from certain Superior Court decisions, but most of the cases are heard exclusively by petition for certification.
The Supreme Court, for the most part, reviews cases at its discretion. The only Court that can overturn a ruling from the Connecticut Supreme Court is the Supreme Court of the United States.
Have You Been Convicted And Sentenced For A Crime And Want To Appeal?
If you have been convicted of a crime, you may be able to overturn your conviction, reduce your sentence, or receive a new trial. As a criminal defendant you have the right to one appeal to the Appellate Court, but you can ask the Supreme Court to hear a second level of appeal, if necessary.
Motion for Sentence Modification and Application for Sentence Review
If you decide not to appeal your conviction but want to try to get your sentence reduced, you can file a motion for sentence modification, to be heard by the sentencing judge
You also have the option of waiting to seek reconsideration until after you have served a portion of your sentence. This may give you a better chance of a lesser sentence for good behavior.
Appeal to the Connecticut Court of Special Appeals
If your first trial was in the Circuit Court and you lost, you can appeal to the Connecticut Court of Special Appeals.
At this level, you will not be granted a new trial, rather the Court will review what happened at the Circuit Court to see if any errors were made that led to an unfair conviction.
However, if it is discovered that your trial was erroneous in some way you may be granted a new trial. In some cases, if it is determined that the evidence presented in the Circuit Court was insufficient to convict you the first time, you may be acquitted.
Appeal to the Connecticut Court of Appeals
If you lose in both the District and Circuit Court, or if you lose both in the Circuit Court and the Court of Special Appeals, you can appeal to the highest court in Connecticut — the Connecticut Court of Appeals.
The Court will review what happened in the Connecticut Court of Special Appeals, and if your trial produced an error, you will receive another trial. If you lose the new trial, you can appeal the loss.
This process will continue until you either win a trial, decide not to appeal, or lose at each level of appeal available.
Was Your Claim Denied By A State Agency? File An Administrative Appeal
In Connecticut, there are certain Administrative Agencies that have similar authority to
courts but are not part of the state’s judiciary system. If you feel your claim was wrongfully denied by a state agency, you have the right to petition for an Administrative Hearing.
Administrative law usually relates to the issuance, suspension, or revocation of some type of government issued license or benefit.
Examples of denied claims may include:
- workers’ compensation claim
- unemployment insurance benefits
- tax refund or tax license claim
- suspension of driver’s license
You may request a hearing 30 days after you receive a denial letter. At a hearing, you can present your argument in favor of receiving benefits to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who will render a decision or administrative order.
The agency from which the case arose will then review the ALJ’s order and decide to either accept, reject of modify the decision. If the final administration decision is unfavorable, you can file a motion for a rehearing or another review of the decision.
If the agency denies your motion or if the you remain dissatisfied with the agency’s decision at the conclusion of the rehearing/review process, you can file an appeal for a judicial review with the Connecticut Superior Court.
Do You Need an Ocean City Appeals Attorney?
Contact the J. Christopher Llinas today by calling 860-530-1781.